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Any attorneys out there?

3097 Views 3 Replies 4 Participants Last post by  Ice Cream Man
Hello! I am 18 and currently about to enter my third academic year at a university. My major is English and, like most INFJs and many English majors, I keep flip-flopping on what I would like to pursue career-wise.

Back in my seventh grade civics class-- which was taught by a spunky older southern lady who sang songs about the government and told stories of her adventures on the nude beaches of France-- I decided for a short period of time that I would like to become a lawyer.

Now, after being convinced for years that I would become a Literature professor, my mind keeps venturing back to the idea of a legal profession. Reading and writing will always be my passions, but something about the idea of teaching literature in a college setting doesn't quite scream "I'm helping people" enough for me.

Now, I know what many people may be thinking: most lawyers are just after the money, even if their work is unethical. I am only interested in Criminal law (and maybe Environmental Law, but I have little knowledge on the field), and I am only interested in becoming a district attorney-- that is, I would be working for the government to prosecute the criminals and fight for the victims. It is the whole "justice for victims" notion that really grabs me. This is the kind of law that I (think) I would feel good about doing. Of course, there are times where the defendant is actually innocent, which troubles me greatly; however, I do not know how likely this is to happen, assuming that the district attorney's office only takes on cases with a wealth of evidence.

I feel I have a knack for problem-solving, a way with untangling words, a drive for doing right, and a persuasive presence under structured settings. I have never heard of an INFJ attorney, however, and I always second-guess if I know what's best for myself. Am I just unrealistically striving to be like Marcia Clark? (who, I know, lost the case and was scrutinized for months-- but she still fought with everything in her for justice). Will my Feeling trait make me too susceptible to the harsh realities of law?

Any opinions on the matter of INFJs as prosecutors would be greatly appreciated!
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Some things I've observed, not as a lawyer but doing social work in the same arena:

1) If you feel bad for victims, and you work with criminals or family court cases, you will almost certainly be a target for manipulation. It's not a question of whether you'll be manipulated, it's a question of when: everyone falls for it now and then, but more so the ones that let the sob stories jerk them around.

2) It's also exhausting, being part and parcel to every horrible thing people will do to each other. You have to be able to distance yourself emotionally, and you may want to consider having some therapy in place as a general self-care thing.

3) What is right and what is legal is not the same thing. There's manuevering and loopholes that can work for you but also against you, and there will be cases you run into where you KNOW the victim just needs this...but for X, Y, or Z reason you can't give it to them, and you have to be okay with that.

4) You have to be ready to deal with clients who are not ready for the help you want to give them. People change at their own pace, and some will still do utterly stupid things even when the law is breathing down their neck and the judge has chewed them out five times over the same thing. Trying to fight against this will just tire everyone out, including you.

5) You have to be ready not to judge, even though this is partly your job. Things will come up in cases that will completely surprise you, because you didn't peg the person as that kind of guy or gal. Everyone has biases, and you have to be aware how your own can lead you to making decisions that either too gentle or too rigid, or blind you to things going on in the case because the evidence came from someone you dislike, or the person is just so smooth in the court room or so polite to you. It's that weird mix of never taking anything at face-value, yet also going with your gut--for as an INFJ, your gut is your greatest strength in figuring out what's going on.

If this all sounds like the kind of thing you can do, hey, you might have a career picked out for you. :happy:
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Now there are a lot of legal services both online and offline
Am I just unrealistically striving to be like Marcia Clark? (who, I know, lost the case and was scrutinized for months-- but she still fought with everything in her for justice). Will my Feeling trait make me too susceptible to the harsh realities of law?
@Atticus2342: I’m not a lawyer, but I see that you are well spoken and I want to encourage you to pursue whatever career you wish. I owned and operated a successful small business. It worked for me. I wound up well off.

Had I used my knowledge of MBTI to choose a career, I probably would have shied away from running a company. This personality stuff can be limiting if you allow it to be. If you want to be a prosecutor (a noble, and very important profession), you should be a prosecutor. Put all of your energy and smarts into being the best.

Only use your knowledge of MBTI to better understand your preferences, strengths and weaknesses. You can also use it to better understand how others think and why they might behave the way they do. It’s important to always remember that MBTI is not destiny.
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